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Your cheatin' heart will make you … die?

If staying faithful to your wife wasn't incentive enough, a new study suggests something else to consider: an increased risk of dying of a heart attack during sex with another woman.

While researching how soon people who suffer heart attacks can resume their sex lives after treatment, researchers looked at autopsy reports of nearly 6,000 cases of sudden death due to heart attacks and found that 0.6 per cent happened during sex.

Of that small percentage, up to 93 per cent were men and 75 per cent of those men had been engaging in extramarital sex, "in most cases with a younger partner in an unfamiliar setting and/or after excessive food and alcohol consumption," the study says. (The Daily Mail suggested 93 per cent had been having affairs.)

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Professor Glenn Levine, from Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, told the Mail: "I would not blow this too out of context. Without being sarcastic, I really can state that I have not had a patient who asked me about the cardiac risks of an extramarital affair."

The study found that heart disease patients who are stable "could resume sex as soon as one week after a relatively mild heart attack, as long as they could walk up a few flights of stairs without discomfort," the Mail reports.

Chicago cardiologist Dan Fintel, from Northwestern University, told the Mail he routinely gives heart patients a sex talk on their last day in the hospital, knowing that it was likely on their minds.

"Resuming sexual activity is safe and emotionally part of the healing process, with a few caveats," he said, alluding to extramarital nookie, the Mail suggested.

Should men thinking about wining and dining a young mistress consider this study a cautionary tale? Does it make you think twice about stepping out?

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About the Author

Tralee Pearce has been a reporter at The Globe and Mail since 1999, starting as a writer in the paper’s Style section. She joined the new Life section for its launch in 2007. She covers parenting and family issues for the daily section. More

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